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You likely have health insurance for yourself to cut back on medical bills and protect yourself in case of an emergency. Shouldn’t your pet get the same consideration? Even if they’re healthy now, cheap pet insurance can be a lifesaver if monster vet bills come your way later. It’s well worth the monthly cost. But how do you know which provider to go with?
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I wanted to weigh my options and get a better idea of the cost of these pet insurance plans, so I used my chihuahua, Peanut. For context, he’s about eight years old and nine pounds and in generally good health.
Keep reading for eight cheap pet insurance options that provide solid coverage.
If anyone knows animals, it’s the ASPCA. Their pet insurance comes in two plans: the Complete Coverage plan and the Accident-only plan. Here’s how each one stacks up:
- Complete Coverage: accidents, illness, dental disease, behavioral issues, hereditary conditions
- Accident-only: torn ligaments, bite wounds, broken bones, toxic ingestions, swallowed objects, cuts
You can also add preventative coverage for $9.95 a month, and that includes things like vaccines, dental cleanings, and heartworm preventative medicine. Your monthly cost will depend on a number of factors, like the breed and age. I requested a quote for Peanut, and it was about $70 per month. Choose an annual deductible of $100, $250, or $500. After you meet that amount, you’re set until your next 12-month plan period.
Depending on the reimbursement percentage you select, they’ll reimburse up to 90% of your vet bill.
- Flexible coverage
- High reimbursements
- Great reputation
- User-friendly app
- Doesn’t include preexisting conditions
Related: Check out these pet boarding options that’ll save you money.
What I love about Fetch is that their coverage is incredibly comprehensive when it comes to illness and injuries. They cover everything from prescription medications and physical therapy to acupuncture and cancer treatment. For Peanut the chihuahua, it’s about $58 per month with a $5,000 annual payout, a $500 annual deductible, and an 80% reimbursement rate. Note that if you want insurance for more than one pet, with Fetch each animal will have their own premium.
They usually process claims within 15 days and will update you along the way. Fetch suggests setting up direct deposit — you’ll get paid five to 10 days faster than if you opt for a check.
- Use any vet in the U.S. or Canada
- No enrollment fee
- Cancel anytime
- Coverage for things other providers don’t offer, like breed-specific issues and advertising fees/a reward if your pet is lost
- 6-month waiting period before hip and knee injuries can be covered
- Routine visits and preventative care are not covered
- No discount for having multiple plans for multiple pets
Related: Find ways to get pet freebies for your furry friend.
3. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws has long been voted #1 by pet parents. Their cheap pet insurance plans cover accidents, emergency vet care, illnesses, breed-specific conditions, alternative care, cancer, and genetic and hereditary conditions. Their advantage is in the simplicity: they have one budget-friendly plan that still offers flexible options for the premium and deductible. Claims are usually processed within two days, they’ll reimburse up to 90% of vet bills, and there’s no cap on annual, lifetime, or per-incident payouts.
The monthly cost is attractive. For my best pal, Healthy Paws quoted me about $43 a month with 70% reimbursement and an annual deductible of $750.
- Coverage is simple, straightforward, and pretty inclusive
- 30-day money-back guarantee (in certain states)
- No expensive add-ons
- Covers any licensed veterinarian
- Does not cover preexisting conditions, exams, or preventative care (including dental and spays/neuters)
Related: Here are the best discounts for pet food and pet supplies delivery.
Nationwide is on your side (did you just sing it?) … and that includes your pet. They offer two plans for coverage: Major Medical and Major Medical with Wellness. Major Medical includes accidents and illnesses, certain hereditary conditions, and cancer. You can use any vet, and it even covers specialists and ER visits. The plan also comes with a 24/7 helpline. Major Medical with Wellness includes everything in the former plan, plus wellness exams, vaccinations, flea and heartworm prevention, blood work, and urinalysis.
For Pea, Major Medical came out to $51.65 with a $250 annual deductible, and the second plan totaled $69.65 a month with the same deductible. (Plans start as low as $35 a month.)
- A 5% discount for any additional pets
- Use any licensed veterinarian in the world
- Coverage for cruciate ligament injuries doesn’t start until after 12 months from enrollment
- Can’t enroll a pet over the age of 10
Related: Check out how to save on the best vacuums for pet hair.
Spot offers both accident and illness and accident-only plans. Plus, you can add preventative care coverage for a small additional cost each month. I especially love that they make it so easy to get a quote customized to you. After confirming basic pet details (age, breed, sex), you can play around with your desired coverage to see what it’ll cost you monthly. This also means you can specify what the most budget-friendly options are. For instance, I got a quote of about $11 a month for accident-only coverage, a $2,500 annual limit, a 70% reimbursement rate, and a $1,000 annual deductible.
- Applies to any licensed veterinarian, specialist, or emergency clinic
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 10% multi-pet discount on all additional pets
- Applies to exam fees after you meet your deductible
- Preventative care, preexisting conditions, cosmetic procedures, and breeding costs are not included
Related: Here’s paw-dropping ways to save on every pet supplies purchase.
In 2022 Forbes named Embrace the best pet insurance for superior benefits. Undoubtedly, their coverage is pretty expansive. Embrace applies to illnesses and conditions, accidents and injuries, dental accidents and illnesses, vet visits, tests/procedures/treatments, and even follow-up care. They even offer additional coverage (for a fee) to cover “extras” like vaccines, grooming, and training. In 2021 they covered 92% of claims, and the companion app means that filing and checking up on claims is fast and easy.
While it varies, their dog insurance plans range from $30 to $40 a month, and cat insurance ranges from $15 to $20 a month.
- No networks, and you can visit any licensed vet
- They’ll reimburse up to 90% of vet bills
- Multi-pet and military discounts, employee benefits, and perks for veterinary practices
- Enrollment fee of $25 and a monthly processing fee of $1
Related: Find pet-friendly stores that’ll let you bring your dog when you shop.
Trupanion says that their coverage goes “from nose to toes.” You can expect coverage for breed-specific hereditary conditions, unidentified issues without a diagnosis (like vomiting or diarrhea), and congenital conditions that your pet developed before birth. For an additional fee, you can also get Recovery and Complementary Care Rider (for therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc.) and Pet Owner Assistance Package — which covers things like advertising and a reward for lost pets and boarding in case you’re hospitalized. Their coverage is some of the most extensive, and they’ve paid over $1 billion to members.
With a $700 deductible, Peanut’s monthly cost comes out to $85.63. For a $200 deductible, it’s $154.69. And a $0 deductible brings the monthly cost up to $265.94. All offer 90% coverage on vet bills.
- No payout caps
- Go to any veterinarian
- Coverage is the same for all deductible options
- New members have to pay a onetime fee.
- Wellness care and exam fees are not covered
Related: Find pet-friendly hotels that welcome you and your furry friend.
Lemonade’s coverage is impressive, including diagnostics (blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds), procedures (emergency care, surgery, hospitalization), and medication (prescriptions and injections), even in their base plan. If you want to add coverage for vet visits, expect to pay extra — for my chihuahua, it came out to just over $7 per month as an additional charge. Preventative care coverage is also an extra fee, but you can opt out of it.
For Peanut, with no “extras,” it came out to about $36 a month.
- Get 5% off with two or more pets
- Receive 10% off when you bundle
- Signing up takes seconds, and you can get paid in minutes
- They don’t cover preexisting conditions
- If you cancel your policy and then change your mind, the waiting period will reset, and anything that happened or was diagnosed during your first policy will then be considered a preexisting condition on any future policy
- They’re currently available in only 37 states
Thankfully, there are a lot of cheap pet insurance options out there for every budget. If your pet is mostly healthy, you can probably opt for a higher deductible, lower premium plan. And most providers offer flexibility to change your plan later on. Your best buddy should be protected — compare these providers and see what might be the best fit for you!